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Apr 12, 2014

Black Pepper Taralli

Black Pepper Taralli - Karen's Kitchen Stories

Taralli are a southern Italian snack that is kind of a cross between a looped breadstick and a pretzel. They look like tiny bagels, but they are super crunchy like grissini. These crackers are about 2 inches in diameter (smaller than they look in the photos). I've also seen them referred to as Italian wine pretzels.

Black Pepper Taralli - Karen's Kitchen Stories

Taralli? How did I discover taralli? you ask! Well.... there was a cookbook sitting on my nightstand called Crackers & Dips: More than 50 Handmade Snacks.

I definitely have a bit of a cookbook problem. A book solely devoted to crackers and dips? How did this get in my house? Typically the culprit is some gorgeous article in Fine Cooking or Bon Appetit featuring a stack of beautiful cookbook spines. Amazon Prime strikes again.

Time to try one of the recipes.

At least I don't collect cars, right? Or shoes. Or exotic animals. I swear, you won't see me on Hoarders weaving my way through narrow aisles of cookbooks.

Black Pepper Taralli - Karen's Kitchen Stories

Tartalli come in both savory or sweet flavors. They are often served with wine, and are crispy enough to be served with cheesy dips. I made these with very coarsely ground tellicherry black peppercorns. I loved them both plain and with a gooey dip of Harvarti cheese with pepperoni.

Black Pepper Taralli - Karen's Kitchen Stories

You can substitute any number of savory flavors for the black pepper. I really like the spiciness of the bits of tellicherry.

Black Pepper Taralli


2 tsp instant yeast
3/4 C warm water (about 110 degrees F)
1 tsp sugar
1/2 C white wine
1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
2 C/255 g unbleached all purpose flour
1 3/4 C/290 g semolina flour (not extra fancy durum)
2 tsp salt
2 tsp freshly ground (on course) black pepper
1 egg + 1 T water, beaten


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add all of the ingredients in the order that they are listed, except the beaten egg.
  2. Stir with a large spoon or dough whisk until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated into the wet ingredients.
  3. Knead on medium speed for about 3 minutes. The dough can also be kneaded by hand for about 6 minutes. 
  4. Allow the dough to rise, covered in an oiled bowl, until doubled. About 90 to 120 minutes. 
  5. Divide the dough in half, covering one half with plastic wrap while you work with the other half. 
  6. Divide the other half into 28 equal pieces and roll them into 6 inch long ropes. Coil the ropes into a circle and press the ends together. Place them one inch apart on parchment lined baking sheets. 
  7. Cover the first sheet with plastic wrap, while preparing the second baking sheet. 
  8. Brush the taralli lightly with the egg wash. 
  9. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, rotating the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through. 
  10. Cool on a wire rack, and then store in an airtight container. They will stay fresh for up to 2 weeks. 
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  1. Sounds delicious Karen with wine Sounds like a keeper

  2. Never heard of these. They sound good!

  3. Oh I love taralli! they make me proud of being Italian! the only contraindication is that as soon as you start eating them you cannot stop! lovely photos!

  4. Your Taralli looks like the salted Kleesha I make, and I add Kalonji seeds. they are amazing, and addictive , I love them with Halloumi , or fresh cheese amazing.... they freeze well

    1. I think every culture seems to have a variation on a theme Arlette! Addicting is right!!

  5. These look fun and tasty! Love the photo of the taralli on the parchment. I came to the conclusion my blog will never come to an end - I can't stop buying cookbooks! I started my blog just to keep my mind busy, while our college age daughter went of to India for a month with her class. As for cars, we have an auto repair shop. There is one stall where customers cars are not worked on. There is always some car there. I ask the guys, who does that car belong to, or is that one of Andy's? Their reply - "not saying!" Ha ha ha. At least it wasn't like his dad - the cars were parked all over the yard at home - drove his mom mad. ;)

    1. Same here Cathy. This is a way of forcing myself to use the books I've bought =) I love the story about Andy's guys! So cute. At least he has a place to put them, right? We had a neighbor like that. He had Cadillacs all over the street.

  6. Love taralli - there are recipes that call for boiling before baking. Makes the texture even more interesting.

  7. I need you to help me overcome my fear of yeast!! I'm with you on the cookbook addiction, I have way too many, but I love every one of them. I've never heard of this cracker, but I love the sound of the fresh cracked pepper.

  8. Savoury nibbles are my idea of heaven add black pepper and I am definitely in, I could wade through a stack of these, can't wait to make the recipe!!!!!

  9. I buy these all the time but never thought to make them! We call them "pepper biscuits" - I've been eating them since I was a kid. Definitely trying this recipe :)


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